Slim Man


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If you took a heap of the soul out of Bobby Caldwell's voice and made him a bit more nasal, the result would be close to the easygoing, pleasantly romantic, yet ultimately unremarkable Slim Man. Still, what Slim lacks in powerful emotion and any sort of passion or intensity, he more than compensates for in genuine likability, and Jazzified (Bona Fide Music) plays like a balmy soundtrack to a day on a tropical beach. The dreamy waltz "Other Side of Love" typifies his approach -- casual delivery of sweet yet simplistic lyrics while synth strings sway in the background, harmonically enhanced by Joe Ercole's synth vibes, Kevin Levi's smoky sax, and the irresistible acoustic guitar harmonies of Marc Antoine. In other words, he prefers a subtle vocal approach while his guest stars carry the emotional weight. Ercole and Levi are particularly effective in solo spotlights on "Steal the Night." Though some of his tunes -- particularly "Angela" and "A Night Like This" -- are hummable upon just a few listenings, this disc suffers from a certain predictability; it's mostly midtempo ballads, with a few slowing down to a crawl. A little more depth and a lot more energy would have helped this disc rise from the sea of pleasantries into something more meaningful.

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